PM: Observers or not, election will go on as normal
The August 10 election will be carried out “as normal”.
This was the assurance from Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley as he spoke on a political platform on Monday night.
Dr Rowley assured that the general election will be conducted in a free and fair manner, regardless of the ability of CARICOM and Commonwealth election observers to be present on August 10.
“Observers or no observers, we expect that we will conduct elections as we normally do in Trinidad and Tobago as a disciplined people. We will go to the polls and vote for who we want, freely and fairly.”
He took note of the United National Congress’ (UNC) request for the observer missions to be present for the August 10 polls.
The Prime Minister said he had no issue with the request, having already gone ahead and requested international observers be sent to T&T.
“We have no problem with observers. In fact, if the observers could come or could have come we would have been very happy because we would have liked to have seen the A that they would have given us for elections.
The election observers were due in T&T on July 24, however, financial constraints have affected their timely arrival.
Dr Rowley said the election observer missions from both CARICOM and the Commonwealth indicated their inability to cover the costs associated with the mandatory 14-day quarantine for entry into T&T.
Requests have since been made to “potential benefactors” from within the Commonwealth to cover their costs to allow them to be present to oversee the election.
The Commonwealth, the Prime Minister said, has since “taken a pass” on the invitation to observe the election, however, CARICOM is still working to put together the resources to allow an observer mission to come to this country.
The Prime Minister said there may be some “reasonable” compromise that can be made if CARICOM can still send election observers.